Global arms industry: First rise in arms sales since 2010, says SIPRI

Taking Security Seriously       Change in military spending in 2007-2016 constant dollars              Source SIPRI

A new report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, revealed that despite the slump in global arms industry for five consecutive years, in 2016, arms producers world over saw US$375 billion in profits, with the USA weapons industry claiming over half the global sales.

Sales of arms and military services by the world's largest arms-producing and military services companies - the SIPRI Top 100 - totalled $374.8bn in 2016, according to new worldwide arms industry data released by the Stockholm global Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

"The growth in arms sales was expected and was driven by the implementation of new national major weapon programs, ongoing military operations in several countries, and persistent regional tensions that are leading to an increased demand for weapons", according to a SIPRI fact sheet (pdf).

Lockheed Martin posted a 10.7 percent rise in 2016 arms sales associated with the high volume of F-35 fighter jet deliveries and the company's acquisition of Sikorsky in 2015, said Aude Fleurant, director of SIPRI's arms and military expenditure program.

Russian arms manufacturers who are close third to the United States and European companies recorded combined sales of $26.6 billion in 2016, a 7 percent growth. The British companies reported 2 per cent increase in sales of arms while more variations were seen in other major exporters of weapons including France, Italy and Germany.

Global arms sale rise for the first time since 2010.

'Germany's 6.6 per cent increase in arms sales for 2016 is mainly due to the growth in sales of armoured vehicle producer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (12.8 per cent) and land systems producer Rheinmetall (13.3 per cent),' says SIPRI Senior Researcher Pieter Wezeman. The arms sales of BAE Systems, the fourth largest arms producer globally, remained stable (up by 0.4 per cent). This is nearly 2 per cent (1.9) higher compared to 2015 data. But, the SIPRI says that South Korea has dominated the emerging producers block with 20.6 per cent increase in sales of arms previous year.

The SIPRI has placed South Korea among the emerging producers, which also covers Indian and Brazilian companies.

South Korean arms exports reached $2.5 billion in 2016, compared to $253 million in 2006, according to official data. Japan's largest arms companies experienced sharp falls in 2016: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' arms sales decreased by 4.8 per cent, while those of Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation declined by 16.3 and 29.2 per cent respectively.

Considering more than half of SIPRI's top 20 weapons sellers are based in the United States-including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman in the top five-the report declares the US has a "decisive influence on the global trend".

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